Old 06-20-2007, 08:48 PM   #1
Walter S
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Default Need help with in-cab photo's

I am fortunate enough to be able to ride in steam engine cab's fairly often but I have yet to master photo's from inside the cab. My problem is that you can never see the scenery out of the window because it is blown out. Here are a few of my in-cab photo's link's below. Is there anyway that you know how I can improve the photo's. I have tried every setting I can think of but I cant get it quite right.

This would have to be my favorite cab photo htta I have taken.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...188950&nseq=12

Here is an example of the view out of the window being blown out.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...189342&nseq=11
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:42 PM   #2
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One way is to do this:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...blending.shtml

This isn't the best page, but it comes to mind. I don't know how current it is, but the basic ideas are there. Also, it doesn't mention it, but if you shoot raw, you don't need two shots; instead, you process the same shot twice, once for the shadows and once for the highlights, then blend the two files together as described.

Mind you, I've never done this! But it is high on my wish list of things to do on the computer.

I personally don't find the magnitude of blown-out-ness (!) objectionable at all in those shots, but I certainly see the value of doing better.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:08 PM   #3
Mike B.
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Would a simple flash work for this? I have no idea as I've only used my flash once and that was while sitting in a car waiting for a train to arrive. I got it to work with no shadows, but you could tell a flash was used.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter S
Is there anyway that you know how I can improve the photo's. I have tried every setting I can think of but I cant get it quite right.

Fill flash.

Either use your camera's built-in flash, or mount one on the hot shoe.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:31 PM   #5
Walter S
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I was thinking a flash may help with this, the one on the camera doesnt do to well though. I think I will buy a canon flash for the hotshoe it may just work.
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:53 PM   #6
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I really like the B&W shot of Artie Barkley in the cab at Cass. That is one that could easily be fixed in photo shop, although the version you have posted has lost all the ground detail outside the cab window so I couldn't recover any of that.

If the cab is not too dark, you can expose for the scene outside, then make a duplicate layer and use levels to brighten up the interior of the cab to the level that you want. You can then erase the overexposed outside scene and the darker version will show through. As mentioned, you can do some of this by processing your RAW shot twice, although you can probably only get a two stop difference this way.

Another trick is to set your camera to bracket and select a two shot, four stop bracket, set your shutter on continuous and fire away. You will have two shots, spaced about 1/4 second apart and can combine the two in photo shop.

Fill flash can also help, if you set your exposure for the outside scene, but you will then have shadows cast by the flash. A combination of fill flash and level manipulation in photo shop might work out.

On your first shot, the light from the fire and the dark cab actually work to make it dramatic. I'm not sure you need to change that one.

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Old 06-21-2007, 03:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
On your first shot, the light from the fire and the dark cab actually work to make it dramatic. I'm not sure you need to change that one.
Agreed with Michael on the 2nd shot...I think it works well as it is.

Good material...thanks for posting!

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Old 06-21-2007, 04:06 AM   #8
Rod Williams
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Default Two shots

Use a tripod or fix the camera securely. Take two exposures, one for inside, one for out. They should be far two many stops apart to be able to achieve the same result by making and adjusting two layers. Using the well exposed internal shot as your base take the outside exposure, lasso the the outside bits around the window frames, control copy and paste them in to the inside shot and save as a JPEG or whatever format you are working in.
See http://railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=133387&nseq=69
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Using the well exposed internal shot as your base take the outside exposure, lasso the the outside bits around the window frames, control copy and paste them in to the inside shot and save as a JPEG or whatever format you are working in.
Any thoughts on how this falls into the realm of 'digital manipulation?'

I'm on the fence, especially if an HDR image is 'okay.' Thoughts?
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Old 06-21-2007, 05:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Any thoughts on how this falls into the realm of 'digital manipulation?'

I'm on the fence, especially if an HDR image is 'okay.' Thoughts?

From my interpretation of the guidelines any multi exposure compositing would be rejected if known. Of course the original poster never suggested this was for RP though.

My take is that any digital manipulation that adds/subtracts elements that are not already existing would be rejected, such as cloning out/in a tree. Now doing multi-exposure doesn't add or take away any elements, it just makes up for the limitations of today's cameras.

It would be interesting to have a little more clarity on this from those in the know.

Walter...here is a multi-exposure I did exactly for the reason you mentioned:
http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=...0623914&size=l
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Any thoughts on how this falls into the realm of 'digital manipulation?'

I'm on the fence, especially if an HDR image is 'okay.' Thoughts?
I don't really see this as manipulation in terms of creating something that wasn't there or indeed real. It's no different to dodging and burning in a dark room and where the light range has such a great variation there really is no other way to offer up a good end result. Using a flash almost always results in unwanted reflections and who can carry around all the gear you need for good fill lighting. I can't see any other ( easy ) way of getting an all round well exposed result.
For digital manipulation see :- http://www.rodsrailpage.fotopic.net/p20886360.html
where I photographed the three trains over a short period then did this paste job. That's what I would term as digital manipulation.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter S
I was thinking a flash may help with this, the one on the camera doesnt do to well though. I think I will buy a canon flash for the hotshoe it may just work.
Then you'll want to check out this site

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/02...-strobist.html
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